Historical Social Research

Stefan Berwing: Extending Mixed Embeddedness: Entrepreneurial Figurations of Entrepreneurs with Migrant Origins in Germany. [Abstract]

Focusing on entrepreneurs with migrant origins, this contribution introduces the concept of entrepreneurial figurations as a theoretical complement to mixed embeddedness. After introducing Elias’ concept of figuration, I explain how figurations can be used to understand migrant entrepreneurship. Using a dataset of 584 entrepreneurs with migrant origins, I show to what extent entrepreneurs of migrant origin build their businesses on co-ethnic interaction and how co-ethnic economic relations are combined into different figurations. The analysis shows that a majority of entrepreneurs with migrant origins in Germany do not make use of any co-ethnic resources. The discussion points out crucial differences between branches of economic activity and I propose that figurations, understood as typical interaction patterns, could foster the understanding of different types of migrant entrepreneurship. Furthermore, the analysis shows that the figurational approach is a useful complement to mixed embeddedness, which helps to deal with the plethora of phenomena in migrant entrepreneurship.

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